Second impact syndrome (SIS) is associated with malignant brain swelling and usually occurs in young athletes with one or more prior, recent concussions. SIS is rare and some dispute its existence. We report a case of SIS in Rowan Stringer, age 17, a rugby player who sustained a fatal brain injury despite prompt medical therapy including decompression surgery. The cause of the massive brain swelling was initially unknown. An inquest revealed Rowan’s text messages to friends describing symptoms from two prior, recent rugby brain injuries, likely concussions, within 5 days of the fatal blow and confirming the diagnosis of SIS.